Weekend Reading: 7-8 December 2019

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Leith van Onselen

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

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          • Well then. Talking about drummers, I love how a lot of those old school amazing drummers used to do amazing solos on four piece kits. Drum solo’s are usually a bit boring, but some a really good. Favourite drummers for me, Keith Moon, John Bohnam and our very own Rob Hirst. And probably his best piece, Power and the Passion solos.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pKPNnk-JhE

          • Mining BoganMEMBER

            Never forget Neil Peart. Whenever you think about best drummers, think about your choice then think about Neil.

          • Bonzo did things with his feet on drums that other drummers were still trying to master using their hands. That said, I would reluctantly give my vote to Ginger Baker. Best drummer, worst human being. What an unpleasant chunt

          • One way of judging drummers is by their technical chops (i.e. what I just wrote above Ginger Baker, Neil Peart etc). Another way is by how well their drumming serves the music. Judged by this parameter, Bonzo is tops by miles. Under-appreciated Ringo is also right up there

        • boomengineeringMEMBER

          Tim, re Santana
          That made the wife happy, don’t know about the neighbors though. She used to work at EMI, Central, in that era early 70+ and met a lot of those types including Micheal Jackson. Had her face on a album cover.
          Despised Peter Garratt though, a greenie at Manly, council gave us a lot of grief with the gym 90’s

        • Carlos tripped his way through Woodstock… fantastic guitarist.and speaking of drummers, I saw the Stones at Brisbane City Hall in ’66.
          Brian Jones had to given a piano so he could sit down , and promptly collapsed over it, Charlie Watts spent the night picking up his Drum sticks. Mic and Kieth kept it going, and together.

  1. Chart watcher says, ‘Don’t fall asleep on gold’ as it gears up for another run

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/dont-fall-asleep-on-gold-because-the-charts-are-too-good-says-prominent-analyst-2019-12-05?mod=home-page

    ETF inflows for gold have finally moderated from extreme levels as investor exuberance fades,” said Jeff deGraaf, chairman of Renaissance Macro Research,

    “We don’t want you to fall asleep on gold, the charts are too good,” deGraaf said. “A drop in extreme sentiment during a period of consolidation as the overbought condition works off after breaking out of a large basing pattern is exactly the type of action you want to see.”

    DeGraaf said GDX is starting to show strength as it breaks out above resistance that had been holding through a consolidation period. “Gold may be gearing up for another run and we think it’s worth owning here,” he said.

  2. It’s my birthday, and I’m drinking all the Taylors Clare Valley I bought for tonight.

    Fck ’em, they can drink the sh!t wine they bring. I’m hiding the rest with the Elf on the Shelf.

    Just a broken old man.

    • The daughter is obsessed with the elf on the shelf, and I’m getting more desperate for hiding places.

      So I put the elf on top of the thin cupboard in the toilet, and now the daughter won’t go to the toilet without me blocking the elf’s view.

      16 days to go to find hiding spots!

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Ours got Jammed into the Air Con vent tonight by the wife.
        Creeps me out we are still doing it for a 9 year old!

        • We lost the original one in our move so the missus had to go into Broadway on 30/11 to pick one up and she got the last one!

          I put it down too low on the first morning and the daughter goes “Hang on daddy. Why does she have a tag like other toys?”

          Harry: “I’m not sure, we’ll have to ask mum”

          excellent work harry.

        • In case anyone is interested, the answer involved “remember the characters in Night at the Museum?”

        • Having, for the good of the planet, avoided having kids, there are a whole bunch of memes that have just passed me by. Glad to hear of another that missed me, though it feels weird having to look them up…

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Real men drink beer on their birthday.
      Bums drink wine,…that’s why they call em winos.

      BTW happy birthday.

    • If anyone wants to come over for a Cab Sauv let me know and I’ll try to convince the missus that MB people are not sociopaths.

      • Thanks, missus bought me this book (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40668391-the-four-horsemen)

        And I bought myself a set of these for my Emperador (https://www.shoporpheuspickups.com/sidewinders). The humbucker ones. Spoke to Dave the owner, a crusty old 61yo ex guitar tech/roadie/sound engineer etc etc and he said they were like P90s/single coil. So I hope they have enough crunch for the rhythm in the bridge and are sweet enough for smooth gainy solos in the neck.

        I’m just looking for a website to see if I can put some extremely boring pics up BRB

      • Hi LSWCHP. Off topic query…

        We’re now thinking quite seriously about buying in the old part of Weston but up near you (the high part with views). I was wondering if you’re aware of any traps / pitfalls (eg horrible traffic bottlenecks, more developments etc) that I should think about…? I used to live in Weston and liked it, that was a while ago though before any of the new developments at the north end were built.

        • No mate, the place is a gem. My ex and I (before she became my ex) were hoping to buy in that area a couple of years ago. My now partner and I are planning on buying there probably in about a year from now. I’m an ex Belco long timer, and she’s currently in Belco, and both of us think that Weston is a much better option for us. It’s convenient to our workplaces (Civic and Fyshwick), has good facilities at Coolemon Court, and the vibe is generally pleasant. No unpleasant hassles that I’m aware of.

          The one unexpected issue is that the bloody roos from Oakey hill come down to graze in the suburb, and I’ve had some bloody close escapes driving around at night. A reasonable society would realise that large erratic and highly agile game animals don’t belong among traffic on suburban roads and get rid of them, but as we all know, they are kangaroos and this is not a normal society.

          Other than that, I’d say it deserves strong consideration. We might end up being neighbours! 🙂

          • Many thanks! Yes, that is also how I felt about the place when I lived there in 2012-13, just before the new development started. Very good all around. Only real doubts are around the local schools, which I don’t know well. The roos … ah well. They are also fairly active where I currently live (one ridge to the east) and I expect they are just as stupid as the ones over near you …

            Area sounds like a winner overall. At least one decent neighbour as an added bonus! Now just need the right house to tick all the boxes.

    • blacktwin997MEMBER

      Happy birthday haroldus! May your goonship at our MB invite-only murderous nationalist criminal syndicate be an enjoyable one.

  3. This is just too good a prime example of what has and is going on for yonks … and then some are confused …

    Colonel Smithers
    December 6, 2019 at 8:51 am

    Thank you, Lambert.

    Would you mind adding a segment to Links titled I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    At the FT’s banking conference last Wednesday, I heard banksters say that only banks, not governments, can fund a green industrial revolution, but need incentivising, including scrapping restrictions on pay and rules to protect investors. You won’t be surprised to hear that my dear employer was one of the firms promoting this nonsense. They see Brexit and the extinction rebellion actions as the occasions to do so.

    https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/12/links-12-6-19.html#comment-3253966

    • Hmmm?

      But according to you private banks are just tools without agency.

      Surely we just need to seed these potential weapons of goodness with the right type of intern and then the green revolution can really rip.

      • I should have added the payment system is just plumbing and its administration is C-corp ethos, hence the pluming has no agency, but the ethos does.

    • This was completely incoherent

      Author obviously wanted to make a point, but I have no idea what it was

      • More on the good doctor …

        R.L. Trivers in the news recently: “Another professor who has received funds from Epstein and defended him was Robert Trivers, a Rutgers University biologist who received about $40,000 from Epstein to study the link between knee symmetry and sprinting ability. Trivers questioned how bad the charges are, noting that girls mature earlier than used to be the case. “By the time they’re 14 or 15, they’re like grown women were 60 years ago, so I don’t see these acts as so heinous,” he told Reuters.”

      • You are not allowed to entertain the thought that IQ and culture have anything to do with what kind of society people build.
        It is part of the leftist progressive blue hair brigade to deny this. They insist on everyone being equal. Equally poor, equally hungry and equally miserable.

        • Again for the challenged … which are you …

          Cultural Marxism generally refers to one of two things:

          First — extremely rarely in popular discourse — “cultural Marxism” (lower C, upper M) refers to a strain of critique of popular culture by the Frankfurt School, framing such culture as being imposed by a capitalist culture industry and consumed passively by the masses.

          Second — in common usage in the wild — “Cultural Marxism” (both uppercase) is a common snarl word used to paint anyone with progressive tendencies as a secret Communist. The term alludes to a conspiracy theory in which sinister left-wingers have infiltrated media, academia, and science, and are engaged in a decades-long plot to undermine Western culture. Some variants of the conspiracy allege that basically all of modern social liberalism is, in fact, a Communist front group.

          In addition when sampling some ideology, cut from whole cloth, and dispensed in a high fructose artificial colour suspension, its recommenced that you sip it and not consume [tm] the thing in one collage try beer bong go … just a helpful hint.

        • You are not allowed to entertain the thought that IQ and culture have anything to do with what kind of society people build.

          It would be marginally easier to “entertain” if the people obsessed with IQ as the defining factor of successful society were willing to apply it with some level of consistency – eg: by being as eager to go all eugenical on low-IQ whities as they are low-IQ darkies.

          But of course they’re not, because we all know it’s actually got nothing to do with IQ.

          It is part of the leftist progressive blue hair brigade to deny this. They insist on everyone being equal. Equally poor, equally hungry and equally miserable.

          Actually they insist on the basic tenets of humanism and liberalism, where you don’t write people off because they’ve got the wrong imaginary friend, skull measurement, etc.

          • Actually they insist on the basic tenets of humanism and liberalism, where you don’t write people off because they’ve got the wrong imaginary friend, skull measurement, etc.

            Yep, one extreme.
            The other one is that all people are identical (minus social influence) and therefore must produce the same outcome if given a same chance: 100m sprint race should make everyone finish at the very the same be it that they have the best legs or are quadriplegic.
            Instead of allowing people learn their limits and thrive within the area where they’re good

            Norway had interesting results from social engineering of ‘identicallity’ (forced equality)
            https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLd9_g7lAICxtlGbxh4_z8ik178o8CDPnv

          • Not sure if you know what you are getting yourself into by engaging with these two. You could be talking till Monday morning until blue in the face and nobody will be any the wiser, just ask Stewie.
            By the way, I said IQ and CULTURE. But the good ‘Doctor’ seems to have some trouble with reading comprehension.

          • You can change your imaginary friend in a second […]

            In my experience, most with them disagree. They typically didn’t pick it themselves, either.

            If you mean you can _pretend_ to have a different imaginary friend easily, well, that’s true enough – but it’s not really the point, is it ?

            The other one is that all people are identical (minus social influence) and therefore must produce the same outcome if given a same chance: 100m sprint race should make everyone finish at the very the same be it that they have the best legs or are quadriplegic.

            Uh huh. And who says anything like that ?

            By the way, I said IQ and CULTURE. But the good ‘Doctor’ seems to have some trouble with reading comprehension.

            Not in the slightest. The same point applies to “culture”, because it’s just a stand-in word for “race”.

        • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

          Sacha there is little point in engaging with ideologues and idiots, beside the fact that they are barely indistinguishable their minds are generally closed to anything that threatens their moral viewpoint.

          IQ is the most recognised and studies psychological trait – if it doesn’t exist and isn’t measurable, then all other social science including the social justice movement that is built of more dubiously asserted principals, are totally without merit. How can you argue with people who reject the rigorous of science because of ‘feelings’?

          Not only is IQ measurable, but it is inheritable and as increasingly being revealed through the advances in the studies of polygenic sequencing that the distribution of gene clusters typically associated with intelligence, have been found in the same frequencies among different population groups as stereotyping would accurately predict.

          Interestingly these frequencies/sterotypes also corresponds to group population based differences on IQ that have been recognised to exist by the American Psychologist Association (APA).

          It should be pointed out that correlation is not causation, and that while the differences are recognised there is no agreement yet on whether those differences are nature i.e. or environment being poor, oppressed, etc. My personal opinion is that it is most likely a combination of both – how very controversial.

          The possibility that differences in human appearance, behaviors and characteristics are all the product of evolution, yet that the one single characteristic that most defines our humanity, our intelligence, is found in an equal distribution of frequencies among all the different population groups – this just goes against all common sense. The illogicality in arguing anything different i.e. blank slatisim and 100% due to environment, is an act of Faith.

          Those who preach diversity while denying true diversity exists, are usually as faith and feelings based in their decision making process as the right wing evangelical Christians that they also like to mock.

          My controversial opinion on genes, culture, IQ, and environment is that as humans are the only animal to be able to significantly alter its environment and habitat, and as we are also the only animal that develops such incredibly complex social behaviour, colloquially known as culture, that an evolutionary feedback loop exists between genes, culture and environment.

          Some population groups, such as Sub-Saharan Africans for example, have been largely genetically isolated for 70,000 years (40,000 years BEFORE Neanderthals became extinct) or over 1,500 generations. More than enough time for localised differences between environment, genes and culture to have an effect.

          It is those forces and differences that can largely explain both the different societies we have built around the world, but also a large part of the differences in life outcomes.

          • Well, let’s hope some day this opinion will become less controversial and we can start being honest about why there is a difference between cultures/population groups. If we learn to accept those differences then we can refrain from trying to push people in a one size fits all mould that works out to mostly being a disappointment for all sides concerned.

          • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

            It will come too late – these idiots and ideologues will have already done too much damage. Who knows where it will spiral or how quickly things will fall apart. They risk bequeathing a dysfunctional society, riddled with racial and cultural division and conflict to our children, simply because they believe they are both morally superior and wiser than anyone who has come before.

  4. Minister ignores expert advice, gives North East Link the green light
    and the article is full of rubbish about lost jobs and lost this many trees etc and none literally none is questioning a price-tag of $15.8 billion (likely to be $20b at the end)

    $16b for 26km of road, that’s $615m per km, that’s $615000 per meter of road all on-the-ground
    to put this into less abstract terms, the cost of actual gold-plating (at official thickness of 0.5 microns) of the entire road 26km, 6 lanes each 3m wide would require 5 ton of gold and the cost of gold would be $350m which is 2% of the total project cost (a rounding number)

    how corrupt we became when this is even possible to announce not yet approve and build?
    is there anyone in this country who can do a simple math

    if we assume optimistic case of average 100k cars per day (for a 3 lane each way motorway), and we assume lifetime of 30 years that gives us $15 per single car ride (no maintenance cost included for 30 years), no closures, low traffic periods,
    in no world this can be economically justified

    and if they put $15 toll on this road, there is not going to be even 50k cars per day, so loss is anyway going to be $15 per car ride

  5. Gday folks, I inherited a small amount of coin and was thinking of keeping it for my kids in the form of gold bullion for the long term say 15 to 20 years because the cash will be mostly worthless by this stage. Anyone bought from perthmint.com / perthmintbullion.com before? Legit 99.9% gold and silver as they claim? How do they deliver it? Thanks!

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      I’ve had some delivered from Perth mint a few times but not for a while. Think it was Toll they used with shipping and insurance being about 1% on top.

    • FWIW bullion (and diamonds etc!) flies about NZ all the time. I know of $50k of scrap that gets refined once or twice a month and returned to sender, all by normal track-and-trace courier. So if you’re doing a progressive buy-in, then it shouldn’t be that risky/difficult.

    • Rorke's DriftMEMBER

      I was looking into this previously although yet to set up my gold holding. However I thought the best way to hold it is through the Perth Mint’s unallocated gold pool, that seems the lowest cost and safest with WA govt guarantee behind the mint. You set up a cash account with them that keeps the money out of the banks and can sweep between the gold pool and cash. Over 15 or 20 years, if the world outlook starts to deteriorate badly you can apparently shift it easily into a an allocated holding of gold in your name in their vaults at an increased fee. Once the shooting starts you can still drive across the nullabour and collect your holding over the counter.

      Only security issue seems to be if the Chinese take over they’ll take the gold first, before they finish shooting, but in that case keeping it in your own safe at home may not help either. You may need to hold some gold offshore.

      • Interested PartyMEMBER

        Re…perth mint unallocated..

        You might want to investigate unallocated gold pool + “force majeure” in the fine print.
        There is good reason to expect that in times of trouble, you will be paid in fiat….not gold. You only hold a certificate.

      • Diogenes the CynicMEMBER

        If you are holding gold for those purposes you really want physical in hand. If it is for portfolio diversification then shares in gold mining companies, ETFs or unallocated accounts are fine.

      • Wait till they find out sex has a higher premium than gold in a real epic down turn … rusa awaits …

    • just introduce property speculation tax and problem solved – easy to implement, easy to police, …
      NZ had an attempt at anti speculative laws in 70s.
      CGT on speculative sales of properties was up to 90%

    • “On the one hand I wonder how they would police that……” – just ban individuals from owning more than 1 IP and 1 holiday house that can’t be sold for 36 months from date purchased.

  6. GunnamattaMEMBER

    a quick rant off on the Ken Henry piece on the ABC site…….

    Thankfully the ABC and Mike Janda have found someone to comment with something (slightly) more than platitudes on the malaise affecting the Australian economy.

    Australia’s economy can’t be fixed by stimulus alone, says former Treasury boss Ken Henry
    By business reporter Michael Janda
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-06/ken-henry-australian-economy-will-not-be-fixed-by-stimulus-alone/11773832

    Well, we should acknowledge that Ken has had his ups and downs – from the emphatic response to the GFC to the Banking Royal Commission. But he has had his upsides and he did help engineer some effective responses to the GFC, so his thoughts are worth chewing over – especially insofar as they at least mark a step away from a ‘cut the rates’ and ‘spend on infrastructure’ mindset to coming to grips with the economic structure.

    That – at last – is a start. What is our economy, what does our economy do? (which generates a ‘real’ economic income) who is it doing it for? what are the costs?, how are government policies affecting that structure?, and how does it need to change?

    A brief think about those questions at the moment would have us with something like

    what does our economy do? (which generates a ‘real’ economic income) it digs things out of the ground, or pumps them out and sells them as is offshore (iron ore, gas, coal). It grows things on the ground and sells them as is offshore. After that maybe it does some medical research.
    who is it doing it for? it seems it does this mainly for the wealthy, and the aged wealthy in particular, more than anyone else. For the rest it affords the opportunity to take on and sustain (to varying degrees according to the location on the socio economic scale) debt in precarious employment circumstances.
    how are government policies affecting that structure? well government has structured the economy to reward real estate speculation, money laundering in real estate by foreigners, and tax avoidance by wealthier Australians and corporates, on the one hand, and balanced that with demand supplemented the worlds most spectacular unskilled or unneeded skill (because they wont get meaningful jobs with the skills) immigration program, and the embedding of generationally psyche searing debt levels for any Australians just trying to raise families or live what may seem to be a normal existence. It also punishes the young (anyone under the age of 50) for the enjoyment of the wealthy and corporate Australia with some of the world’s shonkiest housing arrangements, the world’s most precarious and low paid employment, the world’s most ostentatious health care costs, and the world’s most expensive education costs.

    Let’s see where Kenny takes us……..

    Former Treasury boss Ken Henry says “something is desperately wrong” with Australia’s economy, which is beset by “structural deficiencies” that cannot be fixed by interest rate cuts or government largesse.
    The latest official economic growth figures, released by the ABS earlier this week, show Australia’s economy continues to languish at some of its slowest growth rates since it narrowly avoided recession in the wake of the global financial crisis a decade ago.
    However, in an exclusive interview with ABC TV’s The Business program, Dr Henry said the nation’s current economic weakness was potentially far more concerning because it appears to be driven by long-term “secular” problems, not a one-off shock.

    By Jove, I think Kenny is onto something. Nothing that David and Leith haven’t been pointing out for a decade, admittedly. But it would seem he is now scratching at something which would be pretty obvious to 90% of the rest of us. And if Ken can make the journey, there is at least a chance that someone else from the corporate, political, bureaucratic or economic ‘elite’ might make the journey too……..

    “We’re not in the situation that we were in in the global financial crisis when there was a big negative shock hitting the Australian economy, I think it’s time to start asking ourselves the question whether this is a mere cyclical slowdown, or whether there’s not a secular problem,” he said.
    “I fear that it’s more than cyclical, that we need to find a way of getting ourselves out of this hole.”

    We hear you Ken. Politicians, corporate leaders, and the media haven’t for a generation or so. But we hear you. Indeed people like HnH and Leith (for starters) have been pointing this out for a decade as we sailed blithely towards it.

    A key long-term problem, according to Dr Henry, is a slowdown, and now decline, in productivity.
    This economic figure measures how much output Australia produces for the amount of inputs used in the production process.
    Labour productivity — the amount of output produced per hour worked — fell 0.2 per cent last financial year, the first annual decline since the ABS began measuring it in the mid-1990s.
    When labour productivity is falling, it not only hurts economic growth, but also tends to put downward pressure on wages, a phenomenon that has been apparent in Australia for several years.
    But not only are Australians working less efficiently, we are also not working harder, despite a record proportion of the population being in work or looking for it.
    “The decline in average hours of work — increased part-time and underemployment — fully offsets the increase in workforce participation,” Dr Henry said.
    “In fact it’s stark — if you calculate how many hours are worked in a week by the average person of working age, across males and females, it’s no different today than it was 40 years ago, despite the fact that female workforce participation has increased by 45 per cent.”

    That’s OK Ken, but we know you know there is more to productivity than just labour productivity. There is a thing called capital productivity and Australia has persistently managed to stuff this up for generations. And that has been enhanced over a decade of non existent global interest rates where if the capital hasn’t been productive enough you just go and get more from the bucket.

    That of course has been accompanied by corporate Australia, and Australians generally wondering what the point in investing in themselves as productive entities, when all the gains seem to go to housing speculators (you will recall them Ken, they were about 2/3 of your lending when you chaired NAB).

    And that falling labour productivity. How exactly is that shaped by employers having the ability to pluck cheap labour at will because of the population Ponzi, Ken? Are businesses keen for labour productivity or do they just want cheap?

    That of course is well before you think to yourself that any investor in any business in Australia has the living example of predecessors who really did try and make Australian employees productive Ken……..Do you recall Joe Hockey (in his role as Australia’s least competent ever Treasurer) screaming at the carmakers to vacate their redevelopment sites? Have you ever tried to run a business and invest in productivity while electricity retailers try to ream you out of existence? If you think about it Ken, what actual value for any given entity – be they company or individual – to actually seek to become more productive? We have an entire economy crowded out of the real world by a housing bubble and debt and festooned with what has become known as ‘Bullshit Jobs’ which are invariably low paid and part time, and they are ‘bullshit’ insofar as there is almost no motivation at the workplace level and little point for them at the corporate level – often apart from the fact that it is easier to get someone cheap to do something (preferably a student on a visa it would seem) than to do it productively.

    Rate cuts and tax cuts ‘cannot overcome’ problems
    The man who guided the Australian Government’s economic policies for about a decade after the turn of the century said current policymakers needed to question whether their present course of interest rate cuts and tax reductions could do anything to boost the economy given these more fundamental problems.

    Too right Ken. Interest rate cuts do nothing but free up a few bucks at ordinary family level per week. Maybe we will upgrade from the 5.99 Aldi burgers to the 7.99 pork steaks. Maybe we will run the washing machine another couple of times a week. Maybe we buy a 30 buck Cote du Rhone rather than the Cask Riesling for someones birthday or a party. But any extra activity is only going to be at the margins. At any level upmarket from there (maybe the 10% level if not the 1% level) then the expenditure changes will be even more subtle.

    “Whether what we’re seeing in terms of workforce productivity and workforce participation — particularly if you look at hours of work — whether this isn’t pointing to some structural deficiencies in the Australian economy and something that cannot be overcome or be addressed by either monetary policy or fiscal policy,” he said.

    Ken, would you agree with the idea that loosening up around an economy structured to promote real estate speculation, debt, and low paid workforce casualization, will simply provide more of the same? And that the same is pretty marginal to Australian economic outcomes?

    Dr Henry argued the main reason productivity was declining was a lack of business investment in new technology and equipment that increased the efficiency of their workforce.
    “Business investment today as a proportion of gross domestic product is almost as low as it was in the depths of the early-90s recession,” he said.

    Completely agree Ken. But what is actually in it for the business (any business) to invest in the productivity of their people at the moment? Global demand is stuffed, Chinese demand for anything requiring Australian input is pretty marginal, Australian demand is tapped out. Are those businesses thinking they should be positioning for a change in that macro? Or are they thinking what is extends as far as the eye can see in terms of economic outlook? And if that’s what they are seeing why would Australian people (at least those thinking to look outside the bubble in which they live) see anything else?

    “The reason why Australia celebrates a current account surplus today is because business investment is so weak, we should not be celebrating this, this is sending us a signal that there is something desperately wrong in Australia.”

    Glad you touched on this Ken. Ordinary Australians simply get the scorecard with their news. Current Account Surplus is what they get served up with their news and they think everything is OK. Australia’s media and politicians and bureaucrats and corporate leaders (people like you Ken, you probably know many) push this line, and have done for some time. Remember all that talk of the ‘once in a millennium boom’ or the backslapping when we overtook the Netherlands as record holder for the longest period without a recession? That’s what happens when you have a two channel media pawned to corporate interests Ken….you will remember, it worked to your upside when with NAB, insofar as you were able to ward off sentiment for a Royal Commission into banks for a seriously long time after there should have been one on the table.

    However, he added that the nation’s economic problems were not terminal.
    “The longer term prospects are extraordinarily bright,” he said.
    “There is a need to construct an optimistic narrative for all Australians about Australia’s long-term future, and then to back that narrative up with serious policy action.”

    In what way are they extraordinarily bright Ken? To some extent you are right in that a positive narrative needs to be put together, but that positive narrative needs to be plausible. Right at this moment anyone coming out with anything positive – see business investment, consumer sentiment, commodity prices and outlooks, and see political inertia, see corporate malfeasance – probably needs to ease off the magic mushrooms……

    Dr Henry said policy action needed to include major tax reforms on several fronts.
    A key move would be the introduction of an emissions trading scheme to put a price on carbon dioxide and to give energy and high-emitting companies the certainty to make new investments in low-carbon technologies.
    Another would be a reduction in company tax for all firms, not just small and medium-sized businesses — a move the current Federal Government attempted, but that was blocked by the Senate.
    A third would be changes to the taxation of investments, largely to reduce the bias towards residential real estate. While Dr Henry suggested a different change in his tax review a decade ago, he said Labor’s policies to restrict negative gearing and reduce the capital gains tax discount, taken to the last federal election, were “better than the present system”.
    Dr Henry also said that, while the federal and state governments had increased infrastructure spending, it could be boosted further, particularly in regional areas.
    “If you look at publicly funded construction activity in Australia today, as a proportion of GDP, it’s not above historical averages,” he said.

    Well Ken, that’s a pretty soft ending there. While the carbon trading makes sense, and putting a price on carbon for certainty of users has to be done, what is any company living in the bubble that is Australia’s economy going to do with a tax cut? Why on earth would it invest in anything productive? There is almost nothing in Australia that is productive, and the corporate world knows it, so their game plan is simply to harvest the bubble and for as long as the bubble gives and then to have some form of exit strategy – from fold to ask for government assistance to become productive and compete.

    Of course negative gearing has to go. So do the Capital Gains tax concessions. But the mainstays of the bubble you attempt to avoid need to go even more – the population Ponzi and the tax avoidance, the generational rort being visited on anyone under about 50, the vested interests……

    But the vested interests know where we are, don’t they Ken. They can feel the future circling and know that one of them will be the next taken from the floaty they are clinging to.
    Because they know that they are the biggest single impediment to economic reform in Australia and that the real question is whether they get taken by a shrinking market, fried by their own inability to become economically competitive, in a country which has been deliberately economically structured to become this bubble, at their behest, by politicians in their camp. And the only alternative to that is for them to take the lead in becoming economically competitive – which will involve a lot of pain all round.

    • Rorke's DriftMEMBER

      Great read Gunna. If you run for office one day let us know.

      One point I want to comment on was Ken Henry’s use of the word “carbon-dioxide”. A term you so rarely read these days it stuck out. With all the evangelising around carbon, carbon emmissions, carbon trading, carbon-kids cartoons propaganda I’ve seen, climate change, climate crisis, climate justice and a thousand social justice issues caught up in the ideaology, does anyone actually remember or think that this is issue is all about carbon-dioxide gases and the 1980’s greenhouse effect theory or are we really long beyond that into something else.

    • To give Ken credit, that’s some lateral thinking for anyone that is a prisoner of profit.
      Ken didn’t have to make these connections between the broader Productive Economy and his sector (the banking sector) because our banks actually benefit from the lack of genuine Productivity. If the Australian economy were actually driven by genuine Productivity (especially that resulting from labour specialization) (better mouse trap etc) than our Banks would simply be less important, the banks would become the conduits through which capital is Productively deployed, that’s no where near as systemically an important a role as they currently play. Ken is indirectly saying that our banks need to be controlled (managed) for the broader benefit of the economy….what I read is that Ken is coming to the conclusion that our Banks unique position in the Capital creation process comes with a social cost. In the Communist system this social cost takes the form of supporting welfare, however within the Capitalist system (and I’m still a die hard Libertarian) this social cost is to manage Capital flows in such a manner as to increase our Labour Productivity.
      As I said above, this is a massive leap of faith for someone that has personally profited from the economic positional advantage enjoyed by our banks.
      It’s not easy to take such huge strides, and maybe Ken is late to the MB party, but it sure sounds like his though processes are, at the very least, adjusting in the right direction. Personally I feel this change needs to be applauded rather than mocked. So what if Ken’s behind HnH by ten years, wrt this line of thinking (that still puts him several decades ahead of most Bankers and Treasury officials).

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        and that, on this saturday morning, is pretty much my thinking. He is late to the party, but he is moving in the right direction

      • It isn’t a credit supply problem. There hasn’t been demand for real investment, and what demand there has been can easily be funded through retained earnings. So it is much deeper than a banking problem. You can see this is in 1) the secular decline in real interest rates especially post 2000 and 2) investment hurdle rates which haven’t materially declined despite lower interest rates.
        It is a deeper problem. Neoliberalism effectively creates an economy based upon exploitation. So there is little incentive to invest in new capital. Just start a burger chain, or some app and pay un-unionised entrepreneurs in waiting almost nothing, pay no tax, distribute the profits and invest them in existing real estate.

        • Yeah I kinda agree, but that’s definitely a master level course understanding, at the moment I’m happy to see Ken embracing the 101 course level understanding of what’s really happening in the Aussie Economy.
          The Post Productivity narrative is where I’m currently at and it comes with a lot of very depressing but inescapable conclusions. IF Australia no longer provides a Productive Economic framework from which our skilled Labour can by provide valued services and extract financial advantage, than the whole F’ing place is a joke (nothing but one huge RE ponzi scheme)
          I must admit I struggle with this narrative, it’s the invisible black dog that’s following Australia around apparently only some can see it, in a way it’s a sort of an Australian Thestral crossed with a Dememtor, so I can understand that Ken’s not embracing the concept.

          • ‘The Post Productivity narrative is where I’m currently at and it comes with a lot of very depressing but inescapable conclusions. IF Australia no longer provides a Productive Economic framework from which our skilled Labour can by provide valued services and extract financial advantage, than the whole F’ing place is a joke (nothing but one huge RE ponzi scheme)’

            Isnt that what Gunna was saying? I reckon you guys are all agreeing with one another – You Sweeper and Gunnamatta.

            Sorry I dunno how to do the block of text thing

          • Slavery was pre-productivity. Exploitative systems redistribute wealth but don’t produce it.

          • @The Mechanic
            I’ve never though there was much difference between Gunna’s and my position, very similar root cause analysis with a nuanced conclusion arising from our respective Libertarian vs Marxist leanings.

          • If you want to know where Australia’s productivity has gone, do some research on the Lima Declaration, signed by Australia in 1975. Another redistribution of wealth scheme by the United Nations.

    • Ummmm …. let me get this right …..

      Dominate economics … cough neoclassical with a side of neo – new Keynesian = Taylor rule bolt on to neoclassical, so its basically all the same thing i.e. bastardized yank Keynesian, which of course is what drove everything up to and post GFC, and now like the late stage of rat poisoning everything is clear …. chortle …

      Heads up … everyone that was peddling mainstream economics even before neoliberalism became dominate in the mid 70s is why were are here – now – the only thing happening now is denial and white washing.

    • This is the same guy who fronted the royal commission and started lecturing Hayne on what the terms of reference should be.
      As one of Keating’s neoliberal advisors, who as part of the Keating disaster epoch unleashed “reform”, the only writing he should be doing on the economy is a long apology.
      Todays economy is the desired outcome of Keating disasterism – inequality, low productivity and stagnation. When you hijack a former “Labor” party and deliberately hand back 10% of the national income from labour to capital, there is little incentive for business to invest in new capital to increase profits through productivity.

      • 100 percent agree Sweeper, its akin to the beautification of Bush jr or any other neoliberal retread post public office to some homespun white washing agnotology and then some wonder why we keep repeating the same mistakes over and over, requiring more and more public policies which in turn destroy society whilst the rich keep getting richer …

        • I just think the only dignified thing that people who supported neoliberalism can do is vacate the battleground. That’s also the only way the intellectual clutter will be cleared so that solutions can be found.
          Of course they won’t do that for the same reason they supported neoliberalism to begin with. Narcissism prevails over the common good.

          • Gasp man … are you saying economics might grow past the capital – labour [employer – employee] training wheels and start considering other aspects like the the service provided and them paying for it.

    • Thank you for an interesting read Gunna. I wouldv looked at the article and felt there was something else I wasnt onto. You did that for me, and thanks again for your regular rants. I learn a bit from them, and I point people in the direction of Macrobusiness for thoughts on the economy

    • who is it doing it for?
      total export revenue $250b
      taxes and royalties (state and federal) $42.6b
      employment around 200k total of which 150k in actual mining jobs at on average $150k per job – $30b
      of $80 billion dollar profits little stayed in Australia because mining company ownership is mostly foreign (Australian ownership: BHP 10% , Rio 12%, Fortescue 7%, Newcrest 17%, …) so lets say $15b
      plus some local services and material costs although not much
      so combined much less than $100b out of $250b export revenue stayed here, the rest went overseas either as profit or as payments to overseas companies (foreign banks, machinery manufacturers, services, …)
      around $50b of profit went to USA, plus as much in payments to US companies providing goods and services – so USA benefited almost as much from our mining export as we did.

  7. Sydney apartment owners furious after courtyards and rooms on floor plans go missing

    https://www.news.com.au/finance/sydney-apartment-owners-furious-after-courtyards-and-rooms-on-floor-plans-go-missing/news-story/d1151b20ec4561c599d14f5a4f796cb4

    Dozens of furious apartment owners in Sydney say huge chunks of the courtyards and rooms promised in their off-the-plan homes have failed to materialise. A number of residents at the Ramsgate Park development in Kogarah, in the city’s south, are now considering legal action — with some saying unexpected changes have knocked tens of thousands of dollars off the value of their new homes. They say their apartments, in some cases, have been rearranged. They say their city views have been lost and entire rooms have gone AWOL from the floor plan.

  8. GunnamattaMEMBER

    Good piece from Laura Tingle vis Public Service Reform

    Inside the public service shakeup: what it really says about Morrison’s Government
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-07/scott-morrison-australian-public-sector-sidelined-for-ministers/11775144

    My own thoughts vis the contemporary public service (and particularly the ‘leadership’ elements) from early this week…..

    Let me tell you about the ‘leadership’ levels of the public sector.

    For the most part they have little ability with numbers, and they have plausibly even less ability with words. Unlike their predecessors of a generation ago – some of whom I helped public sector organisations walk outside the gates on the basis that they represented ‘stovepiped thinking’ or werent ‘team players’ (though many had other behavioural facets which limited their ability to engage with both other ‘leaders’ and the people whom they were supposed to be leading [and they were nearly all male] – they have little actual ability to do anything, apart from exhibit the behaviour of loyalty (subservience, desperation, pathological fear, expectation of better things for them) to the clique which they have become part of.

    Governments post 1996 (both sides) have planted their own at the top of most public sector organisations, and those plants have metastasized at lower levels all around the ‘ethos’ of leadership. The lower levels in turn have adopted a widespread ‘just do it’ mindset and have largely let go of anything remotely resembling ‘the public good’.

    What we have instead is a workplace ‘cult of personality’ of the type Stalin knew, with a grip on issues derived at sans data (numbers or words) and reflecting only ideology.

    For the most part I tend to the view that the only difference between 1996 and 2020 in terms of the public services is that a leadership cohort of mainly male psychopaths, all defending (who could often be quite disagreeable), upholding, propagating instituting a view and a mindset (which generally involved an identifiable logic in relation to verifiable data and an articulated narrative, and generally more comprehensively reflected a significant body of the views of the subordinate staff) has been transformed into a leadership of psychopaths with is now largely female [which I have no in principle problem with] but which is invariably glib, lacks any narrative in terms of logic verifiable data, or progress towards an outcome, which is all too often even more dismissive of subordinate staff, ‘customers’ (a concept which has been grotesquely deformed in almost all public sector organisations) and is focussed on the concept of loyalty towards the head of an organisation – who is generally there to exhibit [and motivate in their staffs] the same loyalty towards the director, secretary, first assistant secretary, general manager or whatever, who in turn has the same desire (and expectation) to demonstrate that same unquestioning ‘loyalty’ to a Minister and a Minister’s office.

    That mindset means that nobody ever questions the actual intellectual skills, or history of newly appointed senior staff – they are appointed in the first place because they are the ‘right fit’ or are ideological ‘safe hands’. Rather they are welcomed into a club, and expected first and foremost to ‘behave’ in a particular way, which in the first instance involves loyalty to others in the same clique. It is only when they fall over (as would appear to be the case with this woman recruited into the SA public sector executive recently) that the ensuing search for why (which is invariably a blame apportionment exercise in itself) becomes apparent. The far greater question is not why some entirely unqualified individual was able to get in, but why so many utterly bereft individuals remain in place in executive levels in public service organisations all over Australia, long after they have ceased to grasp straightforward concepts, and long after they have ceased to be able to coherently identify and organise for the expectations of ‘customers’ or their own staffs.

    And this is just the outcome our politicians (particularly our Liberal and National politicians) quite like. They spend gazillions on meaningless consultants. They completely fuck up things like IT (particularly the Commonwealth public sector). They desperately want to get rid of ‘Old White Males’ (generally because these represent some form of corporate knowledge and understanding of things beyond ‘loyalty’ in terms of function or the experience of ‘customers’) and love nothing more than to give vacated positions to some old white female (if she has done the time), or suitably emasculated males (particularly recent migrants, all keen to keep the buttock above moist – but also those desperately trying to sustain a family or mortgage) who are desperate to make their way up the chain and can thus be relied upon to be ‘loyal’ no matter what ideological nonsense is shat down on them from above. They beam out endless meaningless emails and, make endless completely wasteful site visits, and adopt ever more achingly insidious programs, catchphrases and slogans, and generally festoon themselves with only the choicest lips to apply to their buttocks. They create the juiciest of contracts for ‘private’ consultants, contractors, and often are surprisingly open about the prospects of moving into the private sector on the back of the contracts they have taken part in farming out.

    They duck and weave at the slightest registration of an ‘issue’ (meaning both subordinates and other sections/branches or whatever need to keep an eye out). They avoid responsibility like the plague. They are no less inclined than their predecessors to workplace bullying, sexual harassment, or simply hoping that malcontents will simply retire and go away (and boring the pants of them in order to achieve that outcome), as well as outright bullshit.

    They are a large factor in Australia’s contemporary socio-economic, and across the board policy, malaise.

    What will happen with these ‘reforms’ is that they will be used to:-

    Provide greater Ministerial loyalty within APS leadership ranks.
    Provide even more payrises for APS leadership ranks – which the APS doesnt get
    Provide redundancies for a load of mainly aged long serving Canberra residents.
    Provide more ‘non ongoing’ employment opportunities at APS2 level for younger people.
    Provide a load more juicy contracts for ‘service providers’ who have been generally shown to provide an inferior service than the public servants they replace, but are far more effective at extracting funds from the public teat.

    The public will not get ‘better’ outcomes.
    The public will not get lesser cost outcomes.

    The public will get Ministers announcing they have ‘streamlined’ public service
    The public will get a load of glib APS SES types smiling like the overly remunerated psychopaths they are, nodding in agreement.

    • proofreadersMEMBER

      +1 So, I think that what you are telling me Gunna is that the various public services are just like political parties – morally bankrupt and incompetent from top to bottom?

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        I would say that the moral bankruptcy of the political system has been deliberately planted at the top of the public service over the course of a generation, and has from there metastasized at lower levels of the leadership of the public service, and that these now hold the underlings of the public service – regardless of their thoughts of ‘public service’, right or wrong, their personal circumstances (noting that the average [yes average] age of ‘ongoing’ [permanent, or not on contracts which can be ended] public servants in the Commonwealth public sector is up above 50), and regardless of their actual ‘performance’ in the workplace – to ransom to deliberately deliver ‘bullshido’ mandated from above and expecting them to ‘comply’ or leave (and selecting future underlings from those most likely to agree to the bullshido).

        • I worked through it, from 78 to 2009, Gunna. I saw the break away from good public service in the 80s when the cohort above the clerical grade gave away their independence and the Senior Executive Service was created. They got good coin in return and the SES salaries have grown far greater than the EL and AS levels, particularly when AWAs came into existence and agencies were fairly free to set salary levels. This morphed into Ministers approving all appointments and into the current situation where key vacancies are filled with party men.
          I can cite numerous occasions where I felt able and encouraged to give frank and fearless advice, where I contributed to good policy outcomes. As the Howard years progressed, more and more outsiders invaded the ranks of the SES, and I observed they lacked empathy, a focus on doing something good for Australia and were often poor leaders, not strong in human motivation… among many faults.
          These men and women constantly reinforced the message that the Minister was the customer and the government’s needs and wants surpassed anything that the Australian public wants and needs.
          Unwelcome advice or views were never communicated upward. Such subversive behavior was discouraged. Now, their every online movement is monitored.
          A time ago, there were institutions that monitored corruption and key convictions discouraged abuse.
          Now, those same institutions have their backs turned from the goings on of ministers and governments and every eye and ear is turned in our direction.
          Some great comments today, mate

          • GunnamattaMEMBER

            Cheers mate. There is no doubt for mine that what we have now is a weird form of workplace Stalinism, all revolving around the Minister being worshipped and the uber levels getting paid handsomely to organise that.

            If I was to wake up as PM tomorrow the first thing I would do is thank every last member of the SES for their efforts, usher them out the door, and start afresh

          • Cheers mate. There is no doubt for mine that what we have now is a weird form of workplace Stalinism, all revolving around the Minister being worshipped and the uber levels getting paid handsomely to organise that.

            Utopia seems to capture this well.

    • “In 2014, the European Court of Human Rights upheld the French ban on burqa, accepting the argument of the French government that the law was based on “a certain idea of living together”

  9. Stewie GriffinMEMBER

    Well this was inevitable

    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/massive-backwards-step-australia-to-no-longer-have-a-federal-arts-department

    One of the legitimate problems with Multiculturalism is that the host society loses control of its own cultural identity. Under the post modernist viewpoint, classic art being representative of the study and expression of the underlying host culture can no longer be made without it being interpreted as a form of domination by the dominant culture of their cultural values over (oppressing) others that now exist within the nation i.e. its art and culture should be viewed with suspicion and through the lenses of colonialism and oppression.

    Indeed with the post modernist elevation of the oppressed i.e. the minority, as being legitimate cultural viewpoints they are instead elevated within the host society and celebrated as legitimate forms of “cultural enrichment” and soon grace the walls of the nouveau riche.

    For the native born artist emergent from the host culture, the inevitable result of the repression of their own cultural identity, is instead to explore abstractism, or intellectual fluff around relationships between ourselves and objects of society. Nothing better represents this than a banana tapped to a wall can sell for $120,000 USD.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/art-basel-banana-duct-taped-to-wall-sells-for-120000-miami-beach-2019-12-06/?ftag=CNM-00-10aab7e&linkId=78382331

    This leaves the Native Arts exposed to dual criticism – firstly from the general public who are generally confused or outraged over the lack of true ‘artistic merit’ of what is promoted through arts funding.

    Nor can the general public generally identify with foreign cultural art, because the cultural artistic expressions that stand out or make a statement in one cultures understanding, are completely lost or meaningless in another. Generally the only people who get off on such wankery are white liberals, who are one of the only groups by ideology to actively disprove of their own so called ‘racial in-group’ (so self hating).

    Over time this increased lack of support enables neoliberals the opportunity to defund and disband what ‘Arts’ funding remains. Once again the dual saw edges of unfettered Globalism, Progressivism and Neoliberalism, works to cut away and reshape the underlying society.

    What Artistic funding that remains in such a market based, privatised society comes only from the rich – and guess what, they will largely spend their money on things that actively represent their own cultural values. Too bad if they are not of your culture or represent your values either, you’ll just have to get use to it.

    A society without the ability to legitimately discuss Nationalism and Localism, as being in the interests of its own existing people, is like an AIDs patient unable to repel other invading pathogens. Eventually it will be stripped of ALL of its existing cultural identity, the loss of our Govt Arts funding is only a sign that this dissolution of our existing society and culture is progressing.

    • I mean who needs arts – aM i rIgHt oR wOt !

      Who needs Aboriginal Domestic Violence services either – just useless fluff !

      https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/am/morrison-government-defunds-indigenous-domestic-violence-body/11772656

      Yes – thats a real article – the Morrison government really just defunded Aboriginal domestic violence services.

      The National Family Violence Prevention and Legal Services Forum represents 13 frontline organisations, but the Government won’t be renewing its funding.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        It is possible to dissaprove of both defunding of the Arts and defunding of a body set up to deal specifically with Indigenous Family violence.

        But in this case I wonder whose values have assisted in this tug of war that makes it possible to rationalise such action? The Coalition, acting true to its neoliberal roots, or the Progressive Liberal left, such as Yumi Stynes, who believes that actually acknowledging that domestic violence and sexual abuse is more prevelant among our indigenous communities, as being racist and bathed in ‘whiteness’ biases?

        Again the saw tooth of neoliberalism and progressivism working to cut away social services that are representative of patriarchal domination or the price of which is determined by the free market.

        I suppose these indigenous victims will just have to apply through the same welfare channels as everyone else, even though they are often hundreds of kilometers away.

    • arts … come one
      it’s hard to make any profit on it by leveraging over a short period
      domestic violence? any kind of violence is good for economy, stimulates consumption and services

      • lol I thought one of the biggest classical signs of social well being and continuity was supporting the arts …. silly me … I guess moving forward the temple will be the new museums of knowledge and art ….

  10. Canada lost 71,000 jobs – almost ZERO mainstream media coverage outside Reuters, and financials. Worst result in well over a decade.

    Trump added 266,000 jobs best result in us HISTORY, best figures ever – including post war – absolutely mind blowing numbers. ZERO mainstream media coverage outside right wing and financials.

    Absolutely insane how the media is behaving.

    • Interested PartyMEMBER

      The media are behaving exactly as they are told to act…..perfecto.

      He “must” be impeached…..
      lol this is one train that will not be derailed.

    • Yeah and there all increasingly crapified jobs with no rights and no longevity, golf clap, literally …..

    • Wouldn’t wants real facts getting in the way of real propaganda. The mainstream news is as fake and globalist as it gets these days.

      • There was,I think, an article on ZH titled “Fake news through omission” (or similar).

        Don’t need lies any more (you know, Colin Powell/UN, white helmets etc) just omit what is undesired and hush it. It works better, maintains “we told the partial truth” and those with cheaper tickets are not going to see the difference.
        Not that it was not used in the past, as early as 80’s and 24hrs news making inception (CNN – Creative News Net), but it reached a new unheard before level of excellence

    • The incel argument. Irrespective of the circumstances, if you have an identifiable group within a society who are being denied very fundamental human wants, you will get a backlash. No value judgement implied. It is what will happen

      • Send him to LA, you never know they might just legalise it. Bloomberg wants to release non violent crims from jail such as non violent rape if there is such a thing if he gets elected so you never know

      • The incel argument. Irrespective of the circumstances, if you have an identifiable group within a society who are being denied very fundamental human wants, you will get a backlash.

        Much like rape, what “incels” feel they’re missing out on, ain’t about sexy times.

  11. Stewie GriffinMEMBER

    Evidence of Human self domestication… apparently humans screen partners for ‘niceness’
    https://www.zmescience.com/science/genetic-evidence-human-self-domestication-113642/

    Many of the same facial features, signs of neoteny in facial apperance – smaller noses, larger foreheads, etc are actually also found in the animals we have domesticated relative to their wild counterparts, eg shorter snouts/muzzles, floppy ears and curly tails, are all found in the more docile domesticated versions.

    http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160912-a-soviet-scientist-created-the-only-tame-foxes-in-the-world

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Along a similar vein, here is evidence of human/societal self stupidification,

      “Flocks of sheep were imported to Japan and then sold by a company called Poodles as Pets, marketed as fashionable accessories, available at $1,600 each.

      That is a snip compared to a real poodle which retails for twice that much in Japan.

      The scam was uncovered when Japanese moviestar Maiko Kawamaki went on a talk-show and wondered why her new pet would not bark or eat dog food.

      She was crestfallen when told it was a sheep.

      Then hundreds of other women got in touch with police to say they feared their new “poodle” was also a sheep.

      One couple said they became suspicious when they took their “dog” to have its claws trimmed and were told it had hooves.

      Japanese police believe there could be 2,000 people affected by the scam, which operated in Sapporo and capitalised on the fact that sheep are rare in Japan, so many do not know what they look like.”

      https://www.smh.com.au/world/japanese-fooled-in-poodle-scam-20141031-9pk.html

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        My inertia, paranoia not to mention my Saturday laziness is preventing me from registering in order to view it – what’s the TLDR summary with a couple key quotes?

        • Blokes will jump anything, but women are more choosy. Dating apps make this worse as women have more choice, leading to a larger pool of less desirable men missing out entirely.
          A number of great quotes, including…“However, women rate men on a curve that we assume approximates male ownership rates of crocs and/or cargo shorts. Women know all men secretly own at least one pair of cargo shorts or crocs, so 0 per cent of men rated ‘most attractive’ intuitively makes sense”

          • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

            Yeah that is pretty much the case – contrary to popular belief, young people today are getting far less sex than previous generations for precisely these reasons (and as I seem to need to do eternally nowaday, *among other reasons).

            https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/12/the-sex-recession/573949/

            There is an elite group of males dominate the dating pool, running 4 or 5 girls at a time. Long term helps contribute to both the incel culture and the ‘wine aunt’ explosion.

            Chesterton’s fence at play with the liberation of women’s reproductive rights and the abolition of the previous social expectation of no sex before marriage.

          • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

            LOL Black pigeon speaks – should be Black Pill speaks, he knows how to deliver a sermon of doom and gloom. Love Oswald Spengler’s quote “When the Ordinary thought of a highly cultivated people begins to regard ‘having children’ as a question of Pro’s and Con’s, the Great Turning Point has come.” I reckon the only reason we have the appearance of moving forward, is from the inertia being carried over from an earlier wave of effort.

          • The doom and gloom is quite apt I reckon, because we are basically killing ourselves by outsourcing the act of having babies to more prolific imported cultures.

          • Rorke's DriftMEMBER

            The question in my mind is whether all the social engineering over recent decades is part of a grand strategy to reduce fertility and long term population growth. All the elites that run the world seem to be eugenists, psychopaths etc when occassionally the curtain is pulled back. E.g. if you wanted to lower growth of western populations you would introduce policies that increased womens education, increased womens participation in the workforce, introduce dating apps (more promiscuity perhaps, more choice, less long term bonding), weaken mens role in society, weaken the role of family, increase multiculturism to breakdown cultural and racial alignment in the population. Actually a whole lot of things that have been deliberately engineered over a couple of generations. That’s not to say that the foregoing dont have other benefits, e.g. womens education and independence may be great for individuals, just that these factors work against a society reproducing itself.

            Examples all over when you look of people working to reduce population Story on Zerohedge yesterday:
            https://www.zerohedge.com/political/science-prof-calls-fewer-humans-strengthen-human-rights

          • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

            Oh I agree with most of most of what BP says. It is certainly more truth full and honest about the choices young women (and men) face than any facile episode of Sex in the city. It’s just the Doomer delivery is a bit OTT if someone wasn’t already aware of the issues or the accuracy of what he’s saying. Many people would blow it off as being unabashed fear mongering – which it isn’t.

            The trouble it to overtly calls into question the choices that many future ‘wine aunts’ are making in the pursuit of their ‘Strong Independent Identity’. Consequently the topic generally sits outside the nice safe Overton window that future left over women in the media will allow or tolerate – hence why you never see it discussed in the msm space

            I have two sisters, the youngest one whose exceptionally bright has managed to avoid becoming a wine aunt by the skin of her teeth, but the older sister…. she’s been through countless IVF’s, and is now exploring further options. Right through her 20s when she came to me about career advice I’d pretty much concur with her choices. But on the last occasion in her early to mid 30s I made it clear what she would be risking and potentially sacrificing… but she believed the Sex in the City narrative.

          • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

            Rorke as I’ve said countless times, there doesn’t have to be a conspiracy. All that is required is that determined, wealthy individuals, or individuals in position of influence and learning, push THEIR cultural values in primacy to those around them, even if they are alien to the underlying society that they are residing.

            Different cultures have different values, and although two religions may appear near identical – say Christianity vs Judaism, it is the subtle differences between the two in terms of key values, that have the potential to profoundly impact the type of society that we live in.

            Take for example this essay by Rabbi Meir Soloveichikon, a Philosophy Student on just one of the key value based differences between Christianity and Judaism around the nature of ‘forgiveness and blame’. It is a fascinating read on how such a minor difference in values can radically alter the type of society we live in.:

            https://www.firstthings.com/article/2003/02/the-virtue-of-hate

            He provides some interesting insights in regards to ‘forgiveness’ and ‘blame’. It should be remembered that some cultures make no distinctions between say Nazi’s and white people in general. The Nazi’s were white and mainly Christian (in name) – it matters not that so we’re the people that defeated Germany, or that the Germans today are not the same Germans of Nazi Germany.

            There doesn’t need to be a conspiracy, all that is required is that determined people seek to project their values forward in primacy to those around them, irrespective of whether it is for the greater good, or just the in-group.

            At the same time it is worth bearing in mind that the presumption of forgiveness and goodwill that we assume within our dealing of each other, may not always be so. As the linked essay points out they may be based on the false assumption that we share the same interpretations of key values, such as ‘forgiveness and goodwill’.

            Too easily many people put aside the possibility that policies could well be being deliberately fostered onto us, in the knowledge that they will do our society harm.

          • Rorke's DriftMEMBER

            Stewie I think you’re arguing my case in trying not to. You’re recognising the social engineering that’s going on. Reread your comment on your sister believing Sex and the City. That’s our culture.

    • For the second study, this is pretty interesting because the same gene is associated with extreme friendliness in dogs and foxes, and Williams-Beuren syndrome in people (hypersocial behaviour).
      For the first, I read another report in which several scientists not involved with the work suggested that is was a bit of a (what else?) Just So story.

  12. When internal Liberal polling looks bad, rollout the “tough on boarder security” then arm a bunch of AFP coppers with Daniels Mk 18 5.56mm assault rifles – they type used in US Special Operations. What could possibly go wrong with the brassing up an airport with a special operations assault rifle. Lindt Cafe springs to mind (M4’s – another special ops favourite). But according to Dutton, these dudes won’t run away like the other AFP coppers armed with Glocks. What’s with this fascination with special ops weapons when there are plenty of other equally lethal options?

    • What’s with this fascination with special ops weapons when there are plenty of other equally lethal options?

      There’s few things authoritarians love more than an open display of intimidation with its undercurrent of violence.

    • My take on it, and the fanfare the surrounded it, was that it was an attempt to put something into the news to distract from the fires, Angus Taylor, and everything else. It also highlighted that for this government to continue the being tough on terrorism line will lead to more outward displays of force.

      • Yep. lots of distraction going on. The public service reforms being announced now fall into this category.
        Scummo is trying to surpress by filling the airways with cr*p.

        • If that is the case then it is likely that the restructure was rushed and not well considered, and will do more harm than good.

          • Harm than good? To whom is the question. Mate$$$$ will do well. The community.. not so much.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Sure it’s got good distraction value but selective defence procurement (Sales as Skip puts it) provides future board appointment opportunities for for “Players”
        Look a Kim Beazley, defence minister during the entire delivery of our McDonnell Douglas F/A 18 Hornets through the 80s,…. Now 30 years later on the Board of Lockheed Martin Australia the company supplying our next Generation of fighter aircraft at a cost of Billions and arguably the F35 a Shyte choice for our Country.

  13. Could anybody with experience in overseas currency transfer recommend a good service?
    I’m being paid in USD at the moment, and have been using TransferWise to convert to AUD, but a colleague of mine has just lost USD 14k using the same guys and TransferWise have basically walked away. I’m thinking they’re perhaps not all that secure and am now looking for a new provider.. any recommendations would be appreciated!

    • How did he lose $14k through these guys? I’m gonna use CurrencyFair myself. As far as I know there is no middleman in these scenarios.

      • Honestly, I’m not sure. We’ve been getting paid directly through TransferWise for the last 6 months with no problems, but last week his pay just.. disappeared. Hopefully it just turns out to be a clerical error and gets sorted out, but thought I’d look into alternatives anyway.

        • Please keep me updated on the outcome. I am going to transfer substantial amounts of money through these platforms due to conversion rates vs big banks..

    • I use ofx. No problems so far. Takes about 2-3 days to convert waiting for bank transfers to be confirmed.

    • Have used OFX and XE in the past, no complaints.

      That said, it’s probably been a few years since I transferred anything through them.

    • banks that deal without intermediaries are the least expensive method for smaller amounts (e..g. <$5k – it works for me paying myself overseas) and further money can potentially be saved if you can receive the dough in foreign currency (avoids foreign bank conversion at shiɫ rates and allows delayed conversion at potential FX rate peaks – I did this in Seth Efrica should be possible here too).
      Not exact experience share here… just to make you think of possible methods.

      • Open a USD account here. If you are a WBC customer you can open a USD account in a few minutes online.

    • if this is a regular thing transfer money to a USD account in Australia, open forex account to convert the money

    • Madness, so glad I bought now. Not because I think I’ll make any money, but because I don’t have to over stretch to buy crap.

    • It was resold in 2017, and the apartment 1A went for $900k last year.

      That area is crime central – have the police come around once a month at least for something going on.

      • Arthur Schopenhauer

        Crime central? Nah. It’s high in the crime stats because their is a Magistrates Court next to Heidelberg Police Station, and many offenses get logged to the court.

        • Yeah that’s how police operate – when reporting crimes they just reference the nearest magistrates court as the location the offense took place.

          I honestly can’t work out if you really are that stupid, or you think so highly of yourself and so poorly of others that you genuinely think there would be anyone on earth dumb enough to fall for what you have written.

          Honestly that is next level inane.

          Just to be clear, because I think there is a clear need here – no, the location of a magistrates court has zero impact on the reporting of crime statistics and their location.

          Also I live in the area and have done since I used to sit outside Pentridge while my dad was inside dealing with the likes of Ronald Ryan.

    • Same here in Cairns, Arthur. A knock down on a corner end of street, opposite Edge Hill Primary was converted into 3 townies on about 800 m2. Subdivided into three free hold parcels (as end of street, got new numbers). Postage stamp of garden, good architecture and materials etc…. but $750 each (all sold quick) on block that would have cost $400 (a knockdown).

      Good money for those that have some, eh?

  14. I have a question for nerds.

    My work gives me a laptop with a VPN that has 2 factor authentication from my iPhone. They installed the app on my iPhone from the App Store..

    Using VIP access.

    https://apps.apple.com/au/app/vip-access-for-iphone/id307658513

    So when I use my own personal laptop, hotspotting from the iPhone (not anything to do with the work VPN or laptop, but the same iPhone of mine), that’s not visible to work is it? It’s not going through the app or the VPN.

    I would imagine not, but I’m pretty paranoid. They don’t need to know about my MB addiction, being quite a vibrant workplace. Or the Brazilian fart pron.

    Thanks nerds!

    • I suspect my work is able to monitor all my activity on my work laptop and my work phone (including location).

      • I’ve just spent the last few years ensuring that my company can do exactly that. I would assume most large organisations are doing the same thing these days.

        The corporate privacy and surveillance policies should tell you what surveillance you are subject to on work systems. If not, they probably wouldn’t actually be able to use the results of the tools for disciplinary purposes, in a court etc. Still, I imagine illicit surveillance is rife in the workplace.

    • Of course I had to google Brazilian fart pron to see if it was actually a thing, or a haroldus gee-up.

      It’s a thing. I haven’t laughed so hard in months. Thanks for the education mate.

      Annnd….never google for 2 girls 1 cup. Just don’t do it. Never, ever.

    • Hard to say.

      That software probably doesn’t – but have you checked all the other software on the phone ? If you are hotspotting to your iPhone you must be using your work data which definitely will be recorded. Not sure why you would be connecting to your own wifi on your phone then your laptop ?

      • Sorry, I mean I’m using my own phone data (not work’s) to give internet to my laptop (also not work’s). So the only work related thing is the app on the iPhone. It’s just that the app authenticates the work VPN when I’m using it.

        There are times that perhaps the missus doesn’t need to know what harry’s been doin if ya know what i mean. That goes double for work.

        • The Traveling Wilbur

          Given what’s immediately above, you’re fine. I assume your work is big enough to run it’s own VPN, itself.

          However, if there was anything to worry about it was the fact that you let work put one of ‘their’ apps on your personal phone. I am never doing that.

          In all likelihood, it is probably not a problem re your work getting access to the data you approved the app to have access to on your phone in order to install it. But you can never know for sure.

          Here’s how what you’re worried abou CAN happen:
          A) Bstard employer company engages chunt of a monitoring company.
          B) Chunt of a monitoring company provides various bstard and innocuous front services.
          C) Work gets employees to join monitoring company’s innocuous VPN service to allow employees to become mobile and free to enjoy work life balance individuality.
          D) Bstard employer insists on APP (not key, browser or SMS) two-factor authentication.
          E) Obliging employee caves, installs APP and looses ALL privacy – e.g. where they really are on sick days and their browser cache content and gallery photos are almost instantly uploaded to be inspected in Costa Rica by agents of the chunt of a monitoring company with results being reported to bstard of an employer as per whatever backend nefarious services employer is paying for from chunt monitoring company.

          Is your Systems Manager going to see your browser history on Monday? No way. Can your phone now be used as a work spy device whenever someone else wants? Who knows?

          There are easier ways to spy on you. But if they really want to spy on you they need to give you a work phone, or better yet, install an app on your personal phone (that you can disable data use for).

        • i really doubt they can see what you’re doing. traffic would have to go through the vpn for them to see anything.
          Full points for the paranoia though. The best thing I’ve done at work is keep posting samples of the blocked spam, the guys have gone from oblivious to paranoid and check anything remotely dodgy with me.

          • Thanks. The other thing I always keep in mind is to imagine that everything I do is totally visible to everybody, so all activity gets passed through that filter.

            Thing is, MB often gets mentioned in our newsletter, so I’ve got a legit reason to be on there!

          • Mining BoganMEMBER

            Just why is MB mentioned in your newsletters?

            I have a feeling it’s not all positive.

        • To break it down – if the data is your own then there is no record of sites visited via the browser, or through your works servers or internet service provider.

          In order to see what you are looking at they would need to be installing software on your phone which would monitor the requests made to the phone from your laptops browser by intercepting the requests over the hotspot.

          Apps can be side loaded very easily and installed and some are very hard to detect and can monitor all your activities and upload them directly to a remote server.

          https://spyera.com/iphone-spy-app/

          The only way to really know is by having an expert take a look at your phone. To get a vague sense how capable is your company ? Do they have the means and the willingness to spy on you ? If it is a large company, or one which is worried about corporate espionage – someone like Accenture or McKinsey absolutely would – most government security agencies – you get the idea – probably would.

          So although the App you have flagged most likely does not – there is absolutely every chance that capturing the hot spot requests could be done. In my view it would be a medium level difficulty in coding process and not sure if it is encrypted by Apple to prevent just this sort of thing.

          So – even IF they can log and detect your browsing which is doable then the actual tracking will be done with some like Wireshark for mobile which can look at the actual data packages themselves (images, videos, text, log ins etc) – ONLY IF you are visiting HTTP websites with no security.

          If you are visiting HTTPS websites (almost all) then they will basically only be logging the URLS you are vising (actually the IP addresses which are not that helpful half the time).

          Finally if you have your OWN VPN then this is all that the iPhone will be able to log – a single IP address.

          • do you think that a 2fa app that had secret log and ship of your internet requests would really make it through apple store processes? yeah, nah.

    • If the only thing they’ve done is installed that 2FA app and haven’t gotten you to do anything that “manages” the phone, then you’re fine just hotspotting from it.

      Who owns the phone ? Is it yours or theirs ?

        • If it’s your phone (and presumably your phone plan/account) then it’s a struggle to see how anyone would have a leg to stand on sanctioning how you use it.

        • Told my work to take a hike on that one. When you pay my bill, sure! Until then, fark off!

          Funny how then a little specialized device showed up as an alternative.

    • Not sure how easy is to stick the SIM in another phone (should limit the browsing data access to phone provider only) or to use “Ubuntu Live stick” and VPN of choice?

    • Usual lack of clarity in what they are discussing. There are references to billionaires, the top 400 wealthiest families in the US and also the top 1% of income earners.
      The top 400 families make up .0003% of US households.
      So what are they talking about? Who is not paying tax?

    • Highlight for me was the educational aspect of BJ vs. its results. Seems wrapping ones self in some concocted from whole cloth ideological wrapper offsets everything else they have done and are doing, like watching people dance around a maypole on FIRE ….

  15. Haven’t seen the issue of biowood panelling mentioned outside of Martin’s vlog and this article.

    Cladding scare spreads as tribunal finds timber panelling poses ‘undue risk’ to residents

    https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/property/2019/12/05/biowood-cladding-unsafe/

    Thousands more apartment owners have been embroiled in Australia’s combustible cladding crisis, after a landmark tribunal case found a popular timber-based panelling posed an “undue risk” to residents. Lawyers say the ruling will affect thousands of buildings across Australia and result in millions of dollars worth of repairs. And owners could be left to foot the bill, if their building is too old to fall under warranty.

    The case was brought to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) by the owners corporation responsible for four multi-storey towers in Ryde, Sydney, after fire engineers found the Biowood cladding covering the apartment buildings was “combustible”. Owners commissioned a report from the fire engineers as they were worried their apartment block – The Gardens at Putney Hill – could have a serious defect like other high-rise towers in Australia.

    • population growth is over, some small growth in next few decades due to life expectancy rise but in general world is now at fertility rates around replacement levels. Africa still growing bu Europe and most of Asia falling.
      what kills the environment is over-consumption of unnecessary crap
      I’ve been to a kid birthday party and was shocked by amount of rubbish produced by a 2h lousy party for 50 people in total (I learned that steel helium tanks are not recyclable – refillable – it’s so bad)

      • The concern I have with that sort of projection is the idea that poorer country’s consumption won’t (/shouldn’t) grow significantly.

        It’s one thing to look at the overconsumption in our society (especially the US) which could probably halve (or more) without requiring any significant loss in standard of living, but it’s another to look at places where people are still living in huts without electricity or plumbing and say it doesn’t need to increase much.

      • For generations now people have made a conscious choice to limit population growth (through family size) and this has been overwhelmingly ignored by the neoliberal growth at any cost crowd. What makes you think this will end? There are billions of potential consumers in the world that just need access to consumption mechanisms.

    • It does, but the point of extreme population growth is to juice consumption. It is also aimed at undermining the sort of regulation that would limit consumption. The two are linked.

    • Perhaps what’s going on here is the link between extreme urbanisation and consumption. You don’t have to live in a big city for very long to realise that the culture is consumption. https://www.citylab.com/life/2016/04/big-cities-are-the-future-of-global-consumption/478128/ There are big winners and loses to this extreme urbanisation, it would be naive to think it isn’t being nudged.

      It countries with a high population base, the extreme urbanisation is pulled from their own regions. In countries without, then it pushed upon them.

    • Trout à la Crème

      ‘Ironically, accusing others of virtue signalling might itself constitute virtue signalling…’

      Accusing someone of virtue signalling who is accusing someone else of virtue signalling, might be virtue signalling. Tu quoque arguments aren’t ‘irony’. At which point do ‘progressives’ point the finger at themselves and consider that they (and their ideas) might be the problem.

  16. Wheeeeee …

    Jeremy Corbyn Leaked NHS documents = Russia Russia Russia …. the Bernays nag is one tired old flogged horse these days … Chortle … DNC blue dog corporatists whipping it in the states and now the Tories in the U.K. ….

  17. boomengineeringMEMBER

    Afund, where are you, not in a hospital I hope. My rides getting slower and slower, commutters not counted. That’s what happens when all the crew snatch it and you are left falling asleep on the bars ( handle that is).

    • yet I never heard a good argumentation explaining where the problem of stagnation or falling population is.

      beside, aging is quite good for GDP of our consumerist economy – old people tend to spend more, require more services and more expensive services so economy should be booming as ageing progresses.

      • No-one consumes as much as johny homemaker. Debt, land, cars, consumer durables, fast-food, groceries, gambling etc etc. The economics of mass population growth is the economics of consumption.

          • The people of adelaide have chosen to lower their population by having fewer children or not growing as fast. The only people unhappy with this are the consumption profiteers. Adelaide has a range of constraints (like water) and is already a beautiful city, who really wants to turn it to extreme urbanisation unit living?

    • The vibrancy that youth brings:

      More home invasions as Melbourne’s youth gang crisis worsens

      More home invasions in Ballarat, police hunt man with dreadlocks

      • I have a baseball bat by my bed, and I don’t play baseball. I also have a hammer by my bed, and I’m not a carpenter. Etc….

      • Is it a catch 22 – are people having fewer children cos of the financial burden of the welfare state?
        also, is there a country(s) in the world that has properly funded their welfare state?

      • An ageing population is a good thing

        The world’s 25 most elderly destinations

        Monaco – average age: 51.1
        Germany – 46.5
        Japan – 46.1

        The world’s 25 most youngest destinations
        Niger – average age: 15.1
        Uganda – 15.5
        Mali – 16
        Malawi – 16.3
        Zambia – 16.7
        South Sudan – 16.8
        Mozambique – 16.9
        Burundi – 17
        Burkina Faso – 17
        Chad – 17.2

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      “While Adelaide may have changed over the decades since she arrived, shifts in its cultural make-up have been less pronounced; British migrants account for the vast majority of overseas-born migrants at 6.6 per cent of the population, but their population is ageing.”

      British migrants vast majority of overseas born at 6.6% …..computer says NO …sum ting wong there ….or has SA been running a multicultural immigration program was it should be ?

    • Someone in my apartment block has been doing the same all weekend. It’s more bearable than yesterday morning as I am wonderfully hangover free today.

        • Mining BoganMEMBER

          Well, I left a Xmas party early last night and stayed grog free because I was competing this morning.

          Having beer now in front of the golf if that makes things better.

          • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

            I don’t know what to think,
            I’m still having trouble processing your electric Lawn mower Purchase Mr Bogan

          • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

            No doubt you’ll be pleased to know counterfiat that I consider your manliness intact after said purchase.
            😘

      • Nah, just torch the cvnts car. While this is most probably illegal, there are justifiable circumstances.

    • Locate the little pit where his water mains tap resides. About 1am Saturday morning after coming first on weekend reading, mix up a bucket of rapid set concrete, pop over and turn off the mains tap and fill the pit with the concrete.

      This will stop the hammer drilling. May inspire jack hammering though.

      • Awesome. There’s a dull, perpetual generator type hum emanating from the flats complex on the next block and I’m tired of wearing noise canceling headphones to bed. Any ideas?

        • Well, if you just want to piss them off, the only way to go is butyric acid.

          Butyric acid is found in rancid butter and vomit among other things. It is one of the most powerful of all smells and humans are immensely sensitive to it. It is literally the smell of concentrated vomit. Truly amazing stuff.

          It’s relatively easy to make a home brew version.

          https://youtu.be/fpOlkEHZgtk

          Make up a batch, pour it in a sprayer and discretely squirt it into your neighbours letterboxes or wherever you see fit. They’ll think a pig has vomited, sh1t itself and died on the front door.

    • Just wait till he lists the property for sale and it goes $300k above reserve . domain will do a feature on how he had a go and got a go..

  18. Loving a brissy summer (not tongue in cheek)

    When it’s >34 i’ll throw on the ac (i’m a softie) but otherwise i’ll sit in some light shorts, shitpost online with a breeze passing over my back.

    Has anyone got any experience/ thoughts in roof space air pumps (solar or mains connected) that can draw in ambient air to the roof cavity and pump out hte hot roof air?

      • I am playing an extremely nerdy cricket game from Big Ant studios, and I have named my career character “Fvcky McFvckhead” to my soon-to-be 8 year daughter’s absolute evil delight. She cracked up for a minute yelling out “Fvcky McFvckhead” over and over again.

        “Yes, daddy is very naughty, do NOT say this at school.”

    • I mean that’s just not good enough.
      Should be “we knew we were wrong about the neoliberal consensus at the time but did it anyway because selling out the labour movement was the only entry point to the ruling class”

      This is going to be the debate now that neoliberalism has been totally discredited – bad faith v calculated destruction. See Henry thread above.
      They knew exactly what they were doing and the effect it would have and were not forced to do it.
      And that neoliberalism would never have been possible if the former social democratic parties hadn’t have collaborated. In fact it probably wouldn’t have become consensus even in the conservative parties.
      Keating, Brown, Blair, Clinton etc. should do the honourable thing and vacate the battleground.
      per Satre:”here in this room, have taken the century upon my shoulders and have said: “I will answer for it””.
      And that goes for all the cronies who bought into Keating disasterism.
      take the epoch upon your shoulders and answer for it. Don’t claim it was the zeitgeist.

        • Everything he said was spot on. especially revealing that there was virtually no union comment in the media during the GFC as he said. Just a bunch of bankers and technocrat money cranks – even though the banks were basically nationalised. It if was the 50s the reps probably would have been placed on to the board.

        • Great man and a great speech. Shame he’s gone. But he’s what Jeremy Corbyn kind of represents in many ways, although I’m not sure he will win to be honest. I think Boris will based on his personality more than policy.

  19. “A YouGov poll conducted in April 2018 found that 63 percent of Brits thought that immigration into Britain over the last 10 years had been too high. Just 4 percent of the public thought that immigration had been a little too low or much too low. Any political party that chose to go into an election in Britain on a platform of entirely open borders would almost certainly lose heavily—regardless of the merits or otherwise of their position.” https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/11/27/uk-migration-refugees-brexit-jeremy-corbyn-is-caught-labour-immigration-wars/

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      I think Bojo just tripped the low immigration switch ….he is nervous….but that should help

      • The left rightly struggle to cut through with the ‘we just need better labour laws’. The whole point of the extreme growth models is to undermine regulatory controls, including labour and the environment.

  20. Great Southern Land

    Level 2 water restrictions in Sydney and no shortage of feel good crap about everything ‘doing their bit’ to reduce water consumption.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/what-sydney-s-new-water-restrictions-mean-for-you-20191202-p53g59.html

    Meanwhile 2,000 new permanent residents pour through the Mascot arrivals hall and into Sydney every single week.

    I’ll be doing my part by running the bath taps 24 hours a day. Happy to pay to the water charges just to spite the CVNTS.

    I don’t turn off the tap till Scummo does!

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        No “draining the swamp” until we drain the dams eh?

        After I brush my teeth I’m leaving the tap on and Going to bed.
        Solidarity brother!